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Solution to the Electric Scooter Helmet Requirement

Practically no electric scooter riders wear helmets, even though California Vehicle Code Section 21235(c) requires it.

The Helmet Problem

Riding an electric scooter is usually an impulse decision: you pass one on the sidewalk and spontaneously decide to hop on. Of course you don’t have a helmet on you. Who carries a helmet? People don’t, and won’t, carry bulky helmets “just in case.”

The electric scooter companies know this. Bird Rides Inc. tries to separate itself from the electric scooter pack by touting that, upon request, it will mail you a free helmet, provided you pay the $1 shipping cost. While we applaud their offer to get helmets into their renters’ hands, what they really need to do is get them on their riders’ heads at the time the scooter is rented…not weeks later.

The Simple Helmet Solution

Electric scooter companies can’t attach helmets to the scooters – communal helmets create sanitation issues (as anyone who has suffered a case of lice well knows).

Self-service kiosks with rentable helmets also wouldn’t work because electric scooters are dockless, thus kiosks would need to be on almost every corner.

Electric scooter companies are well aware of the simple helmet solution:

Before allowing a rider to unlock an electric scooter, Bird or Lime can require the renter to send a selfie showing that he or she is wearing a helmet, with the photo geo-tagged to the location of the scooter. No photo, no scooter.

Why Electric Scooter Companies Won’t Implement This Solution

Electric scooter companies won’t implement this obvious and simple solution because, with the negligible percentage of riders who carry helmets, this requirement would drastically reduce the number of scooters rented.

If electric scooter companies truly cared about the safety of their renters, and their customers’ compliance with California state law, they would immediately implement this solution.

We won’t hold our breath.

If you've been injured in an electric scooter accident, call our office today (310) 692-9582!

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